WEF Collaborates with Accenture and Government Agencies for New Digital ID Program

  • 30 January 2018
  • Cas Proffitt

Travel has a history laden with barriers to entry for newcomers. Passport and visa applications were listed as one of the biggest pain points for individuals seeking to begin a journey. Further through the traveller’s journey are security checks, flight check-ins, luggage tracking, and passenger information booking.

Data used to register a passenger during their travel affairs is frequently tossed into an information silo, never to be seen again. The WEF, INTERPOL, Dutch and Canadian Governments, and other governments, law enforcement agencies (LEAs), and non-government organizations (NGOs) are collaborating on the Known Traveller Digital Identity Program.

The Known Traveller Digital Identity Program is designed to collect biometric information, travel history, vaccination records, and other relevant security data points to streamline the travel process based on passenger risk.

Which Traveller pain points does the Known Traveller Digital Identity Program address?

A shared study by Accenture and the WEF points out that the main issues with travel are:

  • Visa application and screening processes
  • Inconsistencies in data input and usage by travel agencies
  • Inconsistent security screening procedures
  • Lack of clear exit strategy for some countries
  • Arrival obligations

These issues are being addressed by creating a consistent method of evaluating passenger risk at a glance. Biometric information is highly portable and incredibly hard to spoof without having a clear scan of an individual’s biometric identity. Doubly so when security stations are being manned to ensure that a face matches a photo. Users also have the benefit of never misplacing or losing their identification.

Biometric identity, blockchain/distributed ledger technology storage, and several other emerging technologies are being combined into one solution to save the global economy approximately $150 billion annually.

Who is taking part in the program?

The governments of Canada and the Netherlands are collaborating with INTERPOL, the World Economic Forum, and other partners. Test participants will be scored according to the information included in their digital identities.

Some information gathered includes:

  • Passport travel history
  • Biometric features (face scan, iris scan, fingerprints, etc)
  • Visa status
  • Attestations from university, bank, etc.

Scores will allow users to pass through various facets of airports based on their risk profile, enabling low-risk travellers to access a faster-moving lane when proceeding through a supported airport.

The information collected from these sources will be processed by INTERPOL and other governing watchdogs.

According to a report by Accenture and the WEF:

Forecasts indicate that cross-border travel will grow by 50% over the next decade and reach 1.8 billion international arrivals by 2030.

Would you volunteer information for the project? Let us know in the comments below!

About Cas Proffitt

Cas is a B2B Content Marketer and Brand Consultant who specializes in disruptive technology. She covers topics like artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, blockchain, and big data, to name a few. Cas is also co-owner of an esports organization and spends much of her time teaching gamers how to make a living doing what they love while bringing positivity to the gaming community.